Posted by: Sarah | June 13, 2010

My New Asian Status Symbol (a.k.a. cell phone)

After owning my Nokia phone (which I loveloveloved) for about four years and repairing it half a dozen times, when the ringer recently broke again (after I dropped it, *sigh*) I decided that I could justify getting a brand new cell phone.  I love the excitement of new techie toys!

However, buying a cell phone in Laos or, in this case, Thailand can be a little complicated.  The shops don’t actually carry all of the models, so they prefer to show you a brochure–which is written entirely in Thai.  This means that I either need to spend for-ev-er trying to make out the information myself (my Thai is much slower than my Lao), or latch onto a salesperson and have her read the brochure to me.  After deciding on the features I wanted and narrowing down the selection to several models, the salesperson runs around to all the neighboring shops to collect a those models for me to see.

Now comes the frustrating part.  Very few of the phones they brought to me were actually able to be turned on; they were either brand new and unable to be unwrapped before purchase, or they were just a sample phone and didn’t actually work.  I had to constantly ask the girl the same questions–or turn back to the dreaded Thai brochure.  Plus, most of the prices weren’t listed either, so that information also had to be repeated multiple times.

I finally decided on an LG KS360, which seemed like a good combination of being responsible with my money while still allowing for a little fun (now that I’ve bought it and can finally turn it on, I’m not sure it was the best choice after all).  While I was choosing, the salesgirl kept trying to persuade me to choose a more expensive model that would allow using the phone to chat through instant messaging.  When I told her that chatting would be very expensive in Laos and so I’d never use it, she replied, “Yes, but you would have it.  You wouldn’t have to use it.”  Ha!  Definitely a different perspective on things.  I’d much rather save the additional $60 than waste it on a better status symbol!

Then the girl asked me if I’d like a cloth case for my phone, showing me a black case with a trendy square pattern on the front for about $2.  Sure, why not?  She went to get the case and came back with a black case that had a puppy embroidered on the front.  Um, no.  When she saw I didn’t really like it, she asked if I’d prefer flowers instead (apparently they were out of trendy squares).  Sure, flowers would be better than a puppy.  She came back with this case:

Look closely–can you see the flower?  At this point I just laughed and took the case.  It’s only $2, and it makes me giggle whenever I look at it.  And it will definitely increase my status among Asian teenaged girls–priceless.



  1. So, I think it’s time to update again! 🙂

  2. Yes, can definitely see the flower. Aren’t the people around here, ‘spicy’? They certainly spice up our lives. Thanks for sharing. : >

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